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Monday, 04 August
My Bother, The Car

All right. It was time to stop jerking around. This car thing had gone far enough. I was going to fix things one way or another. I grabbed some stuff at the bookstore and walked up to the moribund little pile of shit.

I was calm. I was cool. I popped that hood open with a practiced flick of the wrist and gazed down at the engine with an icy, clinical stare. "All right, hombre," I whispered, "it's high noon. I'm Gary Cooper. And you're . . . " I thought a moment. "You're the other guy in High Noon." I've never seen High Noon, but the car didn't know that. Neither did the two hot chicks smiling at me from the sidewalk. "Just gonna whip this fucking car into shape, ladies!" I screamed at them. "I've got SKILLS!" I waved my arms madly in a display of raw passion. They giggled and ran away. They wanted me.

Back to business. First thing first: check those spark plugs. Carefully, one by one, I took out what I assumed were the spark plugs and inspected them each. They looked good, and reminded me of little spaceships, so I zoomed them around playfully for a while making whooshes and laser noises. Then, remembering that spark plugs needed to be "gapped," I checked the teeny little space between the dongle and the other thingy. Problem: not much of a gap. There was just a tiny space in there, and I didn't see how that was helping matters--why suppress the spark so much?--so I took a screwdriver and reamed out some really big gaps in each of them. Now we'll see some fucking sparks, won't we? I replaced the spark plugs with just a little intermittent hammering with the butt of the screwdriver to get them properly seated, and replaced the odd little plastic helmets they wore. They looked like tiny executioner's hoods, so I hollered "LONG LIVE THE AUTOMOTIVE REVOLUTION!" at a passing old woman. "You're lucky I'm standing between you and these little fuckers. They'd have your tiny head off in a flash, especially now that they're power-gapped!" She displayed remarkably little gratitude for this precious knowledge and tottered away. Old people are sad.

Now for the oil. I consulted my Audi owner's manual--I had picked one up used earlier that day from a very confusing rack full of them, so I just grabbed the ones with the coolest covers--and quickly discovered where the oil-hole was. Underneath the fucking car! Who designs these things, cripples? It just seemed stupid. Why not in the glove box, or on the dash? Whatever. I got down on my back and started inching under my car, getting a little more pissed now, because I was wearing a new shirt. Which of course turned out to be a total wash, because the oil-hole wasn't anywhere that the owner's manual said it was. I looked at another one, this one for a Volkswagen, and this fucking thing told me it was way in another spot, like in the trunk or something, and I just got fed up and tossed away the damned books; clearly none of these fatheads had ever cross-checked their facts with each other, so their damned books were all just a pack of fucking lies. I wondered idly what the morons who made my car--I checked, and it said "Honda" on it--claimed the damn thing was. Probably in space, or maybe the eleventh dimension.

So there was only one thing to do. I checked the oil-hole (the top one this time; can these things be more confusing?) and looked inside. It was blacker than hell in there; it looked like Donald Rumsfeld's soul. So I lit my lighter and waved it around in there, peering for a good look of where the oil got put, but it was still hard to see. Figuring, well screw it, I wasn't getting anywhere with this, I decided to use my hole card. I didn't want to do it, but desperate measures were in order. I took a deep breath, and steadied myself.

I began speaking the Old Words, and my voice came like syrup from my throat, the words hung glistening and heavy in the air. I felt a slight heat as the mystical energies swirled around me, and the fabric of space around me began to tear. The summoning was working. I opened my eyes and beheld a man.

"Doctor Strange," I said, "can you help me fix my fucking car?"

Doctor Strange looked at me briefly, and then flashed his eyes at the "Honda"--strange word! He blanched and looked back at me. "Dormammu's Eyes! Your car--it's--it's---" he trailed off. "It's really fucked up," he concluded softly. "Yes, Doctor, I know. Can you help me?"

The Doctor let his scarlet cape swirl around him mysteriously, and stroked his black beard. His eyes were hooded in shadow, and he seemed not to notice the small crowd of little boys who had gathered to stare at his floating form. I threw small stones at them so as to prevent their disturbing Doctor Strange, and they fled, screaming at my deadly accuracy.

"It is done!" the Doctor suddenly cried, and powerful energy coursed down his arms and into his hands; orbs of light manifested in his palms, and he held them there, like magical basketballs.

"You have fixed my car, Doctor Strange?" I was so happy! I ran to my car and snapped off the antenna and began savagely whipping the sides of the aged jalopy, fiercely screaming, "Don't EVER do that to me AGAIN!" Doctor Strange looked on bemusedly, and said, "No, no, Skot. Leave off your ministrations, much they may be deserved. The car is not fixed. I have simply arranged towing transport for your vehicle to the nearest mechanical shop, where they shall attend to what ails it. In the meantime, we shall enjoy cold beverages, and when they are done, you need only give them money in the amount which is indicated on their 'bill'."

"Doctor," I whispered, "you are truly wise. I am happy I called you, for I was without recourse."

"You were wise to do so, friend," said the Doctor, "and now, let us go eat ribs."


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Comments

If you are Gary Cooper, then your car would be Ian MacDonald. And I think that would make Doctor Strange Grace Kelly.

Comment number: 003422   Posted by: stennie on August 4, 2003 10:16 PM from IP: 68.165.232.85

did the power outage get ya?

Comment number: 003423   Posted by: mike whybark on August 5, 2003 05:31 AM from IP: 216.173.212.237

Sounds like you have a bad ignition baffle.

Comment number: 003424   Posted by: AD on August 5, 2003 05:34 AM from IP: 67.89.59.226

You are a comic genius and I think I love you.

Comment number: 003425   Posted by: Miss Lis on August 5, 2003 09:01 AM from IP: 68.78.119.92

I'm submitting this to the committee for a Nobel Prize in Literature. I laughed uncontrollably, probably because of my having recently lifted the hood of my Subaru - actual original owner's manual in hand - only to find nothing where the illustration had it placed. I just closed the hood, sat on my front step, and tried not to cry. You handled it with so much more flair.

Comment number: 003426   Posted by: Bet on August 5, 2003 11:38 AM from IP: 205.242.228.4

Monstrously big ups to you, Skot. You are both the blogger and automotive savant I aspire to be.

Comment number: 003427   Posted by: Mixmaster Mikey on August 5, 2003 03:18 PM from IP: 207.191.65.51

I am going to have to fight Miss Lis for your affections...

Comment number: 003428   Posted by: Stacey on August 5, 2003 04:50 PM from IP: 24.238.153.119

I would be totally in love with you too Skot - if I wasn't a lesbian.

Comment number: 003429   Posted by: heather on August 5, 2003 06:10 PM from IP: 207.225.34.211

oh wait - I'm not.

Comment number: 003430   Posted by: heather on August 5, 2003 06:11 PM from IP: 207.225.34.211

Bad Ignition Baffle? GNFAB.

Comment number: 003431   Posted by: TheBrad on August 5, 2003 10:45 PM from IP: 64.218.67.150

Jesus wept. This is the third time I read this post, and I am still laughing like a hyena. "Dormammu's Eyes", yer one funny gent.

Comment number: 003432   Posted by: Felicity on August 6, 2003 11:03 PM from IP: 66.167.205.191

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